James O’Keefe is a celebrated right-wing pseudo-journalist whose job consists largely of attempting to prove various conservative conspiracy theories but, instead, accidentally disproving them. O’Keefe’s most recent fail is an attempt to help alleged child molester Roy Moore by tarnishing the Washington Post. O’Keefe recruited a fake source, who attempted to lure the Post into reporting her false accusations and “admitting” on camera that their reporting would affect the outcome of the election.
The scam collapsed for a number of reasons. His fake source provided a flimsy cover story with odd details — she claimed to have only spent a few summers in Alabama, but provided a cell phone with an Alabama area code. The supposed place of employment that she provided did not have any person by that name working there. A search of her name turned up a social-media post in which she explained that she was going to “work in the conservative media movement to combat the lies and deceipt [sic] of the liberal MSM.”
If you’ve ever watched a spy movie, you’ll probably recall that the spies never get caught because they left a social-media post under their real name declaring “I’m enrolling in espionage school to become a spy!”
Another reason O’Keefe’s plot collapsed again is because it is premised on a ludicrously false worldview. The Washington Post does not, in fact, publish unverified accusations just because they’re against Republicans. His various attempts to prove rampant voter fraud have failed in part because voter fraud is not rampant.
But this larger conceptual problem with O’Keefe’s enterprise creates a secondary problem, which is that the people who are dumb enough to believe these conspiracy theories are not generally smart enough to carry out a competent entrapment scheme.
The grim punchline is that O’Keefe, a buffoon who would stand out as too obvious and implausible on House of Cards, was good enough to get ACORN shut down during the stop-hitting-yourself phase of the Obama administration.